August 17, 2009



To:       VJ Agarwal, Convener

            Graduate Council


From:   Becky LeDocq, Chair

            Faculty Senate


This memo is intended to serve as the initial charge letter to the Graduate Council for the 2009-10 academic year. 


In an effort to better orient new committee members and to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of committee work, the Senate Executive Committee (SEC) is incorporating the following ideas.


  1. The SEC will be holding a meeting of conveners at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 1 in 325 Graff Main Hall.  Please plan on attending this meeting if possible.  If you are unable to attend, please send another representative from your committee. An agenda will follow.
  2. The SEC will be holding a meeting of Chairs during the week before classes in January.  The purpose of this meeting will be for committee chairs to report on progress on charges to date and discuss any problems committees may be experiencing.


Per Faculty Senate Bylaw II. (s):  “Each faculty committee shall hold an organizational meeting and report the name of the chairperson to the senate office by October 1. (Joint Chairpersons are not permitted.)” 


Therefore, as the convener of the Graduate Council, please arrange, as soon as feasible, an organizational meeting.  In addition to a chairperson, please also elect a secretary.   


 Primary responsibilities of the chairperson include:

·         promptly informing the Senate office (5-8018) the results of the election of officers and any changes in committee membership.*

·         organizing and conducting meetings.

·         completing a year end report on the Graduate Council activities to be submitted to the Senate Office no later than May 31, 2010.


*The committee chairperson should carefully review Faculty Senate Bylaw II, “Faculty Standing Committees” for information on committee attendance and the role of alternates.


Primary responsibilities of the secretary include:

·         recording minutes of each meeting.

·         promptly sending meeting minutes to Sibbie Weathers ( so that the minutes can be posted on the faculty senate website. 


In the event the committee chooses to rotate secretarial duties, please designate one person to be responsible for e-mailing the meeting minutes to Sibbie Weathers.


In addition to the committee's normal duties, I ask that the committee consider and report on the following special charges:


  • Discuss the issue of inequity in the application of the Continuous Registration Policy as mentioned in the 08-09 Graduate Council Final Report. Consult with the PeopleSoft implementation team concerning possible solutions to the problem and make any appropriate recommendations. Please plan to provide a report to faculty senate at the February 25, 2010 meeting.
  • Discuss the current English language requirements for graduate students to determine whether a separate policy is needed for students from foreign institutions with whom we have special agreements and make any needed recommendations. (See 08-09 Graduate Council Final Report for more information.)  Please plan to provide a report to faculty senate at the March 25, 2010 meeting.
  • Discuss the criteria used to determine full time status for a graduate student to determine whether any changes need to be made. Considerations should include the academic workload, the work expectations of a Graduate Assistant (GA), as well as outside commitments. (See 08-09 Graduate Council Final Report for more information.) Please plan to provide a report to faculty senate at the March 25, 2010 meeting.



If you have any questions about the charges, please feel free to contact me.


Finally, if the Senate Executive Committee or I can assist your committee in any way during the year, please do not hesitate to ask.



cc:        Graduate Council Members